Bruce’s “We the Government” Column

Beginning in August, Bruce started writing a bi-weekly editorial column called “We the Government” for a publishing group of over nine newspapers distributed across Northern and Central California.

It is both an honor and a great responsibility to be provided a platform that reaches over 500,000 readers, one that Bruce doesn’t take lightly. In addition to offering useful, less covered, insights into regional, statewide, and federal politics and business, Bruce hopes to empower the region’s citizens to get involved with their governments at the local level. His years of experience in politics and business provide him with unique insights into how to be effective change makers, and it starts with taking responsibility for how our communities are governed, hence the title of the column, “We the Government.”

Please see below for the first article published in the “We the Government” column, and be sure to check back or subscribe for future publications.

We The Government

“WE THE PEOPLE” begins the Preamble of the US Constitution … signed September 17, 1787 and ratified June 21, 1788. The preamble is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution’s core purposes and guiding principles.

Thanks to the vision and sacrifice of the founders who established our constitutional republic – we have a nation which is founded on ideals and not personalities. There was no king, no tribal chief, no dictator, no military general, it was “We the People” ruling ourselves.

However, many of us do not consider the obvious next step is that “We the People” also means “We the Government”.

For many of us in our daily lives, we think of the government as a “them”. They are telling us what to do. They are taking our money through taxes. They are being fair or unfair. They are not doing enough or doing too much!

But actually, the government is us! We have nothing to complain about … unless we are complaining about ourselves. We get exactly the government we deserve. If we do not like our government, it is our own fault. Now that may sound harsh and blunt … but ultimately it is true.

Therefore, we cannot simply treat our government as something to sneer at, but rather we must treat it as something we own! Because we do. We own our government. And, we must exercise our ownership over our governments – local, state, federal, and otherwise.

However, as owners, many of us have delegated too much authority to our employees – those employees being our elected officials. And, that is precisely what elected officials are – our employees. They are accountable to us, the owners, the citizens. We owe them courtesy and respect, as we should do with all people. But, they are our employees.

Moreover, while some have delegated too much authority; worse yet, some of us have abdicated our authority to these employees! We become absentee owners who in our minds have let the employees become our masters and we the servants. (Remember, we call them “Public Servants”.) But abdication breeds an erosive attitude of, “I am not responsible for my community or my life; they (the government) are responsible.” Personal responsibility becomes diminished and government responsibility is enlarged. As an elected official, how many people came to me to complain about this or that … but when I asked them if they voted in the last election, their reply would be, “No, I was too busy.”

In light of this collective complacency, this ongoing “We the Government” column is dedicated to empowering citizens to exercise healthy ownership over their governments. And, being a responsible owner … a responsible citizen means that we must care, be informed, be good decision makers, and be involved! And, I know that sounds like a lot of work and that we are all busy, but remember what we have to lose – liberty, choice, freedoms. We have a unique, remarkable society – the envy of much of the world.

Remember, left to its own, everything declines and dies. A rolling ball on the ground stops. A flourishing business goes idle. A marriage fails. A government morphs into something hideous. Energy must be invested to keep the ball rolling, the business fresh, a relationship full of love, a government on track to be the servant of its citizens.

The good news is that our forefathers paid the biggest price to start our constitutional republic, and we only have to keep it going. The ball on the ground must be kicked hard to make it roll, but once rolling only a little more energy is necessary to keep it moving in the correct direction. And, as Helen Keller observed, “The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

We do not have to be a hero to keep our community sound, but all of us must work together with each of our “tiny pushes”. If you are interested in learning more about how to preserve our freedoms and become “We the Government,” I look forward to continuing our conversation in upcoming articles for this column.

I’ll be sharing information about local organizations, such as the Sacramento Taxpayers Association, that are empowering citizens locally; practical steps about how to hold our government leaders accountable; and lesser know political news that has major implications for our local freedoms. In the meantime, stay hopeful and keep carrying on our torch of liberty!

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